Barcelona vs Bayern: Alphonso Davies on meeting hero Lionel Messi
Thursday, August 13, 2020
The 19-year-old tells UEFA.com he is trying not to be too star-struck ahead of the quarter-final.
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Lightning-fast Bayern left-back Alphonso Davies is set to come up against his childhood hero when his side meet Lionel Messi-powered Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
Born in Ghana and raised in Canada, Davies made his first senior appearances with Vancouver Whitecaps when he was 15. Now he is hoping to end his first season in Europe with an extraordinary treble.
Can Bayern win the UEFA Champions League this season?
Alphonso Davies: “Definitely. From the performances we’ve been putting on in these past Bundesliga games, this Champions League game [against Chelsea], I really think we can go all the way and win this. I have full confidence in the team, full confidence in the coaching staff, and we’re ready to fight.”
One of your teachers, Miss Guzzo, said that you were the kid who was always smiling. Has much changed?
Davies: "No, it hasn’t changed too much. I’m still the same person, still the same smiling Alphonso Davies. That was in grade four when she said that. I'm happy to be the same person and always want to be."
Did you watch the Champions League growing up?
Davies: "I went to a football academy school, so every Wednesday or Tuesday, around 12:00 Edmonton time, we would watch it as a classroom. All of the footballers were in there, cheering on whoever they wanted to win. It was amazing, and now being able to play in the Champions League, against one of my favourite players in the world [Lionel Messi], it’s incredible. Honestly, I'm lost for words – a dream come true.
"My mum called me yesterday and then my dad hopped on the phone, and he was like: 'So you’re playing against your favourite player, I see.' And I went: 'Yeah.' And then we both started laughing on the phone. And honestly we couldn’t even believe it, because he knows that I looked up to Messi when I was younger, and now playing against him, it’s really nice."
Are you looking forward to testing yourself against Messi?
Davies: "Growing up, I used to watch him all the time and now I'm defending against him; it's going to be a whole different ball game. But for me, it’s just playing my game, changing nothing on my side and just hopefully doing my best against him. We know that he's a great player – we're not going to take that away from him – so the best you can do is try, I guess.
"It's going to be an incredible game. All I can say is that I am excited to play the game and I’m sure everyone’s excited to watch as well."